The Velvet revolution in Armenia in 2018 showed that young people are most of all interested in democratic changes and that youth can really influence the political situation in the state. Thus, democracy is not only about the opportunity for young people to go on the streets and claim the democratic changes. Our Erasmus+ projects in Armenia and Georgia showed that the knowledge of local youth about democratic institutions and democracy in general is more of a theoretical type and that they are lacking practical knowledge and experience in this field. Tough, where can they get this knowledge if the majority of young people form EaP countries have never been to the EU countries and have never communicated with their peers from the above-mentioned countries? Our questionnaires and interviews showed that the desire of young people from EaP countries to communicate and cooperate with their peers and colleagues form the EU is very high. We were very happy when the Dutch NA of Erasmus+ program supported our project "Hug The Hague. Youth Involvement in Democratic Institutions".
The EU leaders’ summit to mark the 60th anniversary of Rome agreements signing, which eventually led to the creation of the European Union, took place in Rome on March 25. This anniversary makes one think of what the EU has achieved over the years. In my opinion, the main result is that Europe has not lost its role as one of the main players in the world politics. In addition, the Euro has become the second-important currency in the world. This is certainly a great success. The fact that for many years there are no internal borders in the Western Europe is also a huge achievement. In general, I believe that the experience of the EU can be a good example for creating the future structure of the world. But I would also like to pay more attention to a number of serious mistakes that prevented the triumph of the united Europe.
As usual the training started with the introduction. After several words about the project, organization and project Team, name-games were introduced to the participants. The group was international and the names were so different but to work all together we were to get to know each other. It is obvious, that it is much easier to work within a group of people when the rules are set up. So, we worked all together to develop and accept the common rules agreed by all the participants.
Today is exactly one month since I left Jordan. But everything is still bright, and even bulkier. Because the mind is always throws us this trick - when you're interested in something, then you meet the subject at every turn, it seems like the whole world screams about it and is related with it by thousands of invisible threads, or thick clear ropes. For a month I live under the pressure of news, talks, movies, articles, items, references to/about the Middle East. And my news now have bindings to my own experience and to the specific people, it gives a different perspective, a different perception of the topic. This in fact was the main point of the project, in which I happened to participate. The essence and value of such a study visit is to feel the position and state of refugees and migrants from the East, which are inclined to believe to be the wild hordes from the East, leading to the death of the West. Try to understand the new neighbors. Break some of my prejudices. See the ways to live together.
On the 30th of July during the peaceful demonstration of citizens there was arrested Coordinator of Working Group 4 “Contacts between People”, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Hovsep Khurshudyan. Hovsep Khurshudyan implements very important work on the international level as a Coordinator of Working Group 4 and a member of The Steering Committee EaP CSF.
West–East Bridges Foundation addressed Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia with a letter asking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia to do everything possible for Hovsep Khurshudyan’s release.
West–East Bridges Foundation under the frame of EaP CSF have successfully worked in Working Group 4 EaP CSF and actively cooperated with its Coordinator. We consider that Hovsep Khurshudyan’s arrest will not help the Armenian authorities to solve political crisis in the country but also strongly hurts the international image of the country.